PostNL develops new delivery service for online shopping

The Hague – PostNL is developing a home delivery service that supermarkets and fresh food companies can use to transport products ordered online to the customers using quick, refrigerated and cost-efficient methods. The initial pilot in the Venlo area was a success. Starting 22 May, PostNL is now partnering with online fresh supermarket Vershuys.com throughout the Dutch province of Limburg to offer a new home delivery service for foodstuffs. In this second pilot, evening delivery will also be available upon request (Tuesday and Thursday, 6:00 – 9:30 p.m.).

Various surveys by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), ING Economic Bureau and Thuiswinkel.org have shown huge growth potential in online foodstuffs. Young families, companies and institutions have expressed a particular preference for online shopping to cut down on heavy lifting and save time. Respondents do have doubts about the freshness and shelf life of the products. They also state that they want to decide when products are delivered, many expressing a preference for evening delivery.

In the first stage of the pilot (March 2014), PostNL experimented with home delivery of groceries that were ordered online. In the end, a special cold storage packaging was selected, developed in cooperation with Wageningen University and Research Centre. This method allows fresh food products to be delivered at the right temperature when they reach the customer’s door. The insulated box is never left with the customer; PostNL takes it along immediately after delivery. The collaborative process included universities, but also packaging companies, consultancy organisations and customers. The pilot focused specifically on convenience, sustainability and food & safety considerations.

As roll-out of this home delivery service continues, customers in Limburg and the adjacent region of eastern Brabant can have the groceries that they order online from Vershuys delivered daily-fresh products on two evenings a week (Tuesday and Thursday evening).